Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
A scientist has been experimenting with a brain-reading device that can read a person's brainwave and translate it to videotape. When he wants to translate the brainwaves of his recently deceased partner, his superiors and several government agency types are seriously opposed to it.
|Rating:||PG (adult situations/language, violence)|
|Genre:||Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy|
|Directed By:||Douglass Trumbull, Douglas Trumbull|
|Written By:||Robert Stitzel, Philip Frank Messina, Bruce Joel Rubin, Lawrence B. Marcus, Robert Getchell|
|In Theaters:||Sep 30, 1983 Wide|
|On DVD:||Aug 22, 2000|
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Critic Reviews for Brainstorm
This doomed effort fails to generate much excitement either visually or conceptually.
Audience Reviews for Brainstorm
Brainstorm was simply just kind of okay when you stop to consider how great a movie about this concept of memory/emotional transference should have been. EVERY character in this movie was incredibly dull and half baked. The story was also weak and the only thing that really shined with Brainstorm was some of Douglas Trumbull's (the man responsible for 2001: A Space Odyssey's effects) direction. The fact that he changed aspect ratios to show the perspective of Christopher Walken and Louise Fletcher's invention in itself is almost worth the watch. The fact that Brainstorm is full of 2001 nods/ripoffs (one of the characters is named Hal for crissakes) kind of deflates it. I realize that Natalie Wood's death kind of crapped on the production as a whole but there's only so much you can blame on tragedy.
From Douglas Trumbull, the man behind visual effects in such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Blade Runner comes Brainstorm. His only other notable directorial work before this was Silent Running, an ecological Sci-Fi thriller that was decades before its time. There's no argument that the man knows special effects, but that doesn't always translate into knowing how to direct actors. Some of the takes come off as awkward first take rehearsals and the dialogue can be thin at times.
Still, it's great to see Christopher Walken in one of the few lead roles in his career. Louise Fletcher is great as the head scientist fighting for control of her invention from the evil military forces who have come up with a new and exciting way to kill people. The film is also noted for being the final work of Natalie Wood who drowned during the production and blah blah blah. The main attractions of the film are cinematography and the special effects. The lights bouncing off of the silver tape, the virtual theater scenes, this button, that light, etc... All in all, Brainstorm remains a provocative sci-fi flick and should be seen once by all film fans.
Not a bad sci-fi of scientists inventing a way of tape-recording mental events. There goes for the memory of actress Natalie Wood in her final movie.
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